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Justin Runji's picture Justin Runji
Road safety lead agency models

What is an ideal road safety lead agency model and to whom should it report?
 
One of the issues discussed in the Road Safety Management Framework currently being developed by SSATP, is the organizational structure of a lead agency. It has become apparent that civil service institutions such as ministries and their departments still face serious resource and operational constrains – an argument that led the widespread road sector reforms in Africa in the eighties and nineties. This notwithstanding, there are countries in Africa that, despite the enormity of the challenge, still manage road safety from within a government ministry or department. The view, albeit implicitly expressed in the road safety management framework, is that the potential for a road safety lead agency to succeed is directly proportional to the legislated degree of its separation from civil service.
 
Secondly, given that road safety management requires a broader mandate beyond the transport sector, there is a need to review the road safety lead agency reporting lines. A lead agency that reports to the transport ministry could improve the road safety attributes of the sector but it has serious convening power limitations with other key sectors. Should lead agencies therefore not report to a more multi-sectorally placed organ such as the office of the head of state?